Georgia, Russia unable to agree on non-use of force at Geneva International Discussions

The Georgian Foreign Ministry stated that Russia acted destructively during the Geneva Discussions. Photo from the Foreign Ministry press office., 29 Mar 2018 - 14:53, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia and Russia were unable to agree on a non-use of force statement at the Geneva International Discussions that would oblige all the members of the Geneva talks not to use force against one another.

The adoption of the statement served the concrete aim of launching the fulfillment of the Russia-Georgia 2008 ceasefire deal [in which Russia took on the responsibility not to use force against Georgia, but has not yet met with the obligation],” the Georgian Foreign Ministry has stated.
Russia showed a destructive attitude and deliberately brought the discussions on the statement to a dead end,” the Georgian ministry reported.

Government of Georgia representatives once again raised the importance of the presence of an international mechanism on the ground, which was refused by Russia and representatives from Georgia’s occupied regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia).

Another focus of the 43rd meeting of the discussions on March 27-28 was the death of Archil Tatunashvili.

Georgia, co-chairs of the discussions from the European Union (EU), United Nations (UN) and  the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), as well as a participant from the United States "condemned the illegal detention and death of Tatunashvili, and stated that handing over the body to his family after about a month was an inhumane act.”

The Georgian Foreign Ministry said that indifference shown by Russia and the occupied regions to the murder cases of Giga Otkhozoria and David Basharuli encourages violence against ethnic Georgians, including the recent murder of Archil Tatunashvili. 

The Russian response

 Responding to the Geneva Discussions, Russia’s Foreign Ministry wrote that "Tbilisi turned the meeting into a propaganda action.”

Georgia once again tried to blame Russia for its own inability to regulate relations with Sukhumi and Tskhinvali,” the Russian Foreign Ministry wrote.
Instead, Georgia should finally think seriously about restoring confidence with its neighbors: launch a direct, mutually respectful dialogue with Abkhazia and South Ossetia and abolish the law On the Occupied Territories,” Russia claims.

The Russian Foreign Ministry also stated that the cases of violation by the EU observers of the "state borders” of South Ossetia and Abkhazia have become frequent.

 The EU monitors were urged to avoid incidents respecting the borders of the Caucasian republics,” the Ministry added.

The Russian state body reported that the Russian, Abkhaz and South Ossetian delegations expressed their concerns about military cooperation between Georgia and NATO.

The Geneva International Discussions are international talks, launched in Geneva, Switzerland, in October 2008, to address the consequences of the 2008 conflict in Georgia. Co-chaired by OSCE, EU and UN the Geneva process brings together representatives of the participants of the conflict—Georgia, Russia, and Georgia's breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia—as well as the United States.